Well, hello there! I made a red curry with haddock for dinner… (version of @RealSimple recipe)

I won’t bore you with the myriad of reasons/excuses I have for not posting for months (hint: engagement, work, general life…), but I’ve been feeling rather guilty about it as of late…

I’m making more of a conscious effort to cook at home, rather than eat out at restaurants (see earlier mention of upcoming wedding to understand the need to fit into a wedding dress and save some cash). Now, I love to cook, but I’m the first to admit that I can get stuck in a culinary rut. So, I’ve resolved to try at least one new recipe each week, to try and keep things interesting!

This week, I was inspired by a recipe featured in the June issue of Real Simple magazine: Green curry with halibut and corn.

Real Simple Green Curry recipe

One slight problem: there was no green curry paste at my local grocery store. Just red. Rather than scrap the whole recipe, I decided to just substitute… I also opted for haddock rather than halibut (it was on special).

This was actually a really easy recipe to pull together: minimal prep work and cook time. I also cut the fat a bit by substituting the coconut milk with light coconut milk… The red curry added some heat to the dish, but that was balanced out nicely by the natural sweetness of the coconut milk and the corn. It also looked pretty appetizing:

IMG_20150614_172322I found it needed a bit more salt added (and I’m not someone who tends to add salt to my food), but once it’d sprinkled on a bit of extra seasoning, it was perfect! Kevin also really enjoyed it, so based on the ease of prep, I’ll definitely be adding this one to the recipe collection. πŸ™‚

We also had plenty left over for lunch (bonus!)

OH, and for anyone out there who has dietary restrictions, this recipe is also gluten-free.

 

Some sweet heat at Cha Baa Thai (#Dartmouth)

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Did you know that there’s a Cha Baa Thai on “the other side of the bridge”? Yep, neither did I.

That is, until I started working in the area. Turns out, this is quite a popular lunch spot for the worker bees in Burnside.

According to Google (the most reputable source around), the second location actually opened in June 2010. So it’s not new. But it’s new to me!

I’ve only been twice since I started working in the area (which I think shows remarkable self-restraint, on my behalf). But last Friday, after much debate, friends and I finally settled on Thai for our lunch date, and I recommended the Burnside location of Cha Baa Thai (since they were gracious enough to come and meet me!)

We arrived at 1 p.m. to a packed house: people lined up, waiting for tables, and another line stretching down the counter of people waiting to pay.

I groaned inwardly, then noticed my dining companions had already snagged a table. πŸ™‚

Then, we settled in for a (long) wait. After what seemed like forever, we realized we had gotten lost in the shuffle, so I sidled up to the counter and politely informed the server that we had been sitting and waiting for about 20 minutes. She was apologetic, explaining that they had gotten a larger than usual lunch rush, and immediately popped over to our table to take our orders.

I quickly settled on the Masaman Curry Beef lunch combo: tender strips of beef served in a creamy, rich and spicy masaman curry sauce, loaded with chunks of tender sweet potato, onions and peanuts ($10). Β The combo comes with a bed of rice, and a fried spring roll, which really is an ample serving, and great value for $10. The dish is plated simply and thoughtfully on a large white plate, allowing plenty of room for mixing up the beef mixture with the rice.

One of my friends opted for the Panang Curry Beef, which I had the first time I visited Cha Baa Thai in Burnside. It’s another beef stirfry dish, but it’s tossed in a red curry with a hint of lime, and served with green beans and peanuts. Again, this combo is served with a side of rice and a spring roll…

The third at our table opted for the Cashew Chicken combo, which consists of stir-fried chicken and veggies in a chili paste sauce, served with rice and a spring roll, as well. In hindsight, I probably should have ordered this, as well, because I suspect there’s far fewer fat/calories in the non-coconut milk-based sauce, and it looked equally delicious:

We all cleaned our plates, which I always consider to be the true sign of a successful meal. The low spot in the experience was definitely sitting unnoticed for so long, but our server made up for that failing as soon as we spoke up. And, the 20 minute wait gave us some time to chat and catch up! So, it wasn’t the end of the world…

I’ll definitely return (though I’m going to try and refrain from visiting *too* often!). And a note to my Halifax friends: See?! Burnside isn’t that bad! πŸ˜›
Cha Baa Thai on Urbanspoon